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Paper Monitor

12:54 UK time, Wednesday, 20 June 2012

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

The Times's story from Tuesday about the tax avoiding comedian has caused a bit of a ripple in newspaperworld. Paper Monitor has been Carr-ful not to name the comedian in question but the papers have gone right ahead.

The Sun has followed up today with a piece from Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander headlined "Rich tax dodgers as bad as dole cheats".

Browsing Twitter, Paper Monitor's attention is drawn to this piece from the Daily Telegraph in 2010.

It accused Alexander of avoiding capital gains tax when selling a flat. They said it was designated as his primary home to the Revenue, while being designated as his second home to the parliamentary authorities for expenses purposes.

Alexander's explanation was that he had simply taken advantage of "operation of final period relief, which exempts homes from CGT for 36 months after they stop being the main home".

And in a delicious twist, the Googlers are able to find financial advice from the Daily Telegraph in 2007 reminding readers of this very rule.

Ah, the path of the citizen journalist.

Anyway, on to much sillier matters - our more natural home - and Paper Monitor must express surprise that the tabloids have only just got around to doing pieces on the "mommy porn" publishing sensation Fifty Shades of Grey.

The Daily Mirror did something yesterday and the Sun follows up today. For those who've had Salinger-esque levels of social contact these past few months, it's an S&M-laden love story about a young woman and a middle-aged businessman inspired by the Twilight series.

In features journalism, some of the hacks like to talk about "the curve". The academic curve is something to do with a bell and statistics, but the features one is about judging the right moment to do a piece.

For instance, 5 February 2004 would have been a bad time to do a piece about the rise of Facebook. No-one would have heard of it.

But doing a piece about its rise on 20 June 2012 is equally daffy. People in internet-free caves in Stornoway or Bhutan know what it is.

Different media entities are in different places on the curve. If you were a tech blog, you would have wanted to chronicle the rise of Facebook during 2005. If you were a tabloid newspaper you might have got away with 2007.

Over to the Fifty Shade of Grey features curve. It's too late for anybody.

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